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Experienced workers — those who are age 40 or older — can be a critical component of a company’s overall team, passing along the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired over the years to the next generation of employees. But retaining these older workers in a time when they’re needed most, may prove to be difficult for a couple of reasons. Firstly, a large number of older workers may have unaddressed health issues which could result in departure before skills can be passed on. Second, many feel underappreciated on the job. Both cases create serious problems for employers who are already dealing with recruiting and retention challenges.

How widespread are these issues among older workers? Diabetes and obesity, which typically lead to further health issues including critical illness are at dangerously high rates. As an example, according to the CDC, the highest rates by age group of obesity in the U.S. are among 40-59 year olds. As for older workers that feel underappreciated, according to a Robert Half survey conducted in the U.K., the older the age range of survey participants, the more unappreciated workers said they felt, with just 15% of workers age 18-34 reporting they feel undervalued, compared to 25% of employees age 35-54 and 28% of those age 55 and up. Another survey found that nearly 1 in 5 employees who are in their 50s and 60s say their younger colleagues are treated more favorably.

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